Growing up in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Jackson Tijerina started playing flag football at the age of two.
He is a good passer, but his favorite part?
“Punting,” Jackson said,
He hasn’t determined his position, but one thing is for certain.He wants to play high school football on Friday nights.
“Being suited up on that sideline is a dream for him,” his father James Tijerina said.
Mr. Tijerina is also a former Abraham Lincoln player and Jackson’s flag football coach. He wants nothing more than that too for his son.
“Oh man, that would be, that would be the dream for me and for his family. They all watched me play football, but for him? That would be a story, a good story,” Mr. Tijerina said with tears rolling down his eyes.
The thought of that moment brings tears to his eyes because three years ago, football was taken away from his son, when Jackson was diagnosed with brain cancer.
“He’s just longing to be out there with the other kids. So yeah, that’s hard to watch him you know just be sad about it," Jackson's mother Amy Tijerina said.
Through multiple surgeries and two year long rounds of chemotherapy, there have been times when Jackson couldn’t speak well, keep his balance, or walk well either.
“He was gone for a while there," Mrs. Tijerina said. "He’s got a long way to go. We’re just beginning this journey. And you know it seems like it has been forever already.”
A fight for survival can produce the gloomiest of days, but some moments can outshine the darkness.
“Any time we can support a child that’s in our community we want to take the opportunity to do so,” Abraham Lincoln High School head coach John Wolfe said.
Abraham Lincoln High School heard of Jackson’s battle with cancer. In support of him and his love for football, they let him be on the team for a night.
He lead the team onto the field, went out with the captains for the coin toss, and hung out with the team on the sidelines.
“I hope he knows how much this community loves and supports him,” Mrs. Tijerina said.
It was a special moment for a kid who dreams of playing football again and being a part of a team. For the rest of his life, he will be a part of Abraham Lincoln High School's.
If you would like to donate to Jackson's cause, he has a GoFundMe page under "Jackson's Medical Fund" and a Facebook page under "Team Jackson".